Happy New Year and I really hope 2022 is a fantastic year for everyone.
2021 was certainly a rollercoaster of a year but one which thankfully ended on a high. After a huge range of shows and performances, a busy private voice coaching schedule as well as various workshops and courses delivered to performing arts students and pro singers/vocal coaches, it was great to grab a little downtime over Christmas.
However, with that break now over, I'm excited to say 1:1 vocal sessions and singing lessons in Newcastle will be resuming from Tuesday, January 11th, onwards. So, if you're looking to work on your voice in 2022, be it the singing or speaking voice, get in touch and I'll be delighted to help.
Whether you're a professional vocalist looking to hone your vocals or work on specific songs, or a student or hobby singer continuing to develop your technique, range or rep/audition material, I'm here. Equally, if you're an actor or professional voice user looking to develop your vocal delivery within your speaking voice, I'd be delighted to work with you.
Whatever your vocal issue and area that you're looking to improve, feel free to contact me and I'll be more than happy to discuss how we can progress things further.
Looking to get that special someone something different this Christmas? Perhaps something musical, creative, fun or which allows them to develop, polish up and/or hone different skills?
Well, why not get in touch about Gift Vouchers for 1:1 voice training in 2022?
Whether it's someone who sings professionally or just for fun, or perhaps they're an actor or professional voice user, such as a teacher or business person, sessions can be geared to suit whatever they need, including:
To order your Gift Vouchers in time for Christmas or to get more info about them and/or sessions, feel free to get in touch and I'll be happy to help.
Yes, it's definitely been a busy few months! Since the relaxation of Covid restrictions in May, it's been a fantastic, full-on return to pretty much all pre-Covid activities, from in-person 1:1 voice coaching and vocal classes/workshops, to festivals, indoor gigs and even a return to performing with a true Motown/Soul legend.
Firstly, it's been absolutely amazing to return to 1:1 in-person voice coaching and working with all of my singing and voice clients/students, both new and longer-term, as they themselves return to busier work diaries. From all of the vocalists working across the music industry as recording artists, performers, MT students/auditionees to those just developing their voices, it's been fantastic to hear and see so many driven singers at the piano again, bringing new rep and passionate about developing their sound and/or technique.
I've been equally delighted to work with so many spoken-voice/professional voice user clients too, as they look to develop a range of aspects, such as: greater projection, clearer delivery, more authority, more colour, better vocal health/stamina etc within their speaking voices. Among many clients, I've had the pleasure of working with a well-known TV presenter as well as a hugely talented, upcoming sports commentator who has been voted the 'BBC Young Commentator of the Year'. It's been a real buzz and even better, it's been fantastic and hugely satisfying to see so much development amongst everyone. Looking to develop your singing or speaking voice, or experiencing an issue that doesn't seem to be improving? Get in touch and I'll be happy to help.
The 1:1 coaching sessions have been further accompanied by a greater return to working with performing arts students on a weekly basis and vocal workshops with music degree level students which again has been a real pleasure to work with such talented young voices.
Away from voice coaching, it's been fantastic to hit festival stages again after almost two years (late November 2019 to be exact) since the last occasion. First up, it was a return to the main stage at Lindisfarne Festival for Newcastle's hottest, funkiest Soul/Rock choir, Voice of the Town. Despite being the first act on the main stage that day, we had a cracking crowd of festival-goers take in the show and it went down a storm. Gigs are hotting up over at VOTT and having formed the choir/organisation back in late 2011, this year sees us celebrate our 10th anniversary. And what better way to do that than with what's set to be a STUNNING show at the brilliant Biscuit Room. So, if you love vocal harmony, hearing amazing voices and the region's best musicians do their thang, get yourself along to Ain't No Stoppin' Us: feat. Newcastle's Voice of the Town Choir on Sunday, November 28th. It's NOT to be missed, so... DON'T!
Finally, I once again had the absolute privilege of playing piano for the legendary Motown group Martha Reeves & The Vandellas in late-September at the Playground Festival, near Glasgow. I've been incredibly fortunate to play with Martha and the ladies since 2013 and to have the honour of playing her iconic hits such as Dancing In The Street, Nowhere To Run, Heatwave, Jimmy Mack etc. And, despite their advancing years, they show no signs of stopping or letting up, so here's to more shows over the coming months and years with these legends of Soul music.
Until next time, stay safe and keep singing!
Straw phonation, or straw singing, has been around for many, many years (centuries, in fact) with the benefits of using the technique both multiple and varied.
From releasing tension in the vocal folds (vocal cords) and in turn strengthening them, to smoothing out voice breaks, increasing range, developing the respiratory muscles, bringing the vocal folds into greater alignment, easing vocal fatigue and improving vocal health, it's a fantastic exercise to add to your practice routine and general, day-to-day singing. Basically, thanks to back-pressure heading back down the vocal tract and through the vocal folds, it helps them to vibrate more easily, with less effort, thus make singing feel easier!
It's a technique I've used regularly in my teaching over the years to help develop some of the above. However, to make this practice even more effective, and therefore see even better results in your vocal development, Rayvox have cleverly created the superb SOVT Straw (Semi-Occluded Vocal Tract, which is a fancy way of saying the mouth is partially closed). It's an adjustable and beautifully designed straw which allows you to vary the diameter (aperture) of the straw to create different resistances.
That in turn means you can vary your practice between, for example, overcoming vocal fatigue or giving your voice a really muscular workout to strengthen the vocal folds. It's completely up to you in terms of how you feel and what you're looking to achieve on any given day.
It's fast becoming a 'must-have' in any vocalist's armoury and so I'm delighted to say that having teamed up with Rayvox, you can now get a 15% discount on your very own SOVT Straw by applying a special Voicecraft Studio code. You get an excellent free downloadable 'How to/Information' guide with every purchase while you can also get 10% OFF on SOVT Streaming Courses, and more, via the SOVT Straw website.
Learn how to use your SOVT Straw and some of the exercises to practice HERE.
HOW TO GET YOUR 15% DISCOUNT
Simply follow the link below, select the straw (and/or a course of your choosing) and at the Checkout page, insert STEVEMORTON into the Discount Code field, apply the code and voila...
You've just chosen to enhance your voice further AND save some cash, too! Great decision.
Keen to learn more about how straw phonation can improve your voice or how to use your fancy new straw more effectively? Get in touch and I'll be happy to help!
Looking to book some vocal sessions this year to fine-tune technique, build up repertoire, generally improve your singing/speaking voice or work on any other aspect that you wish to develop?
Get in touch before January 31st to take advantage of the New Year 10% Discount offer on block bookings.
A minimum of 3 sessions need to be booked and must be redeemed/held within 6 months from the date of purchase. Sessions can be held either online or in person, once face-to-face sessions are able to resume (likely from late February/March, post-lockdown).
So whether you're looking for singing lessons or voice coaching in Newcastle, or are currently based anywhere around the world and want to give your voice a boost via Zoom sessions, there are options to suit whatever you require. Furthermore, it's already proved to be really popular among existing students and clients, and there's still time for you to take advantage of the offer, too.
Don't hang about though - get in touch for more info and to book before it ends!
Happy vocalising in the meantime!
Looking to get that special someone something different this Christmas? Perhaps something musical, creative, fun or which allows them to develop, polish up and hone different skills?
Well, why not get in touch about Gift Vouchers for voice training in 2021? Whether it's someone who sings professionally or just for fun, or perhaps they're an actor or professional voice user, such as a teacher or business person, sessions can be geared to suit any vocal requirement.
To order your Gift Vouchers in time for Christmas or to get more info about them and/or sessions, feel free to get in touch and I'll be happy to help!
From the moment we were released from lockdown, followed by in person singing sessions (socially distanced, of course) being given the go-ahead to resume again, it's been a busy and really fantastic last few weeks.
First up, I had the pleasure of being asked to judge a singing competition in Teeside which saw more than 50 hugely talented vocalists come together from different performing arts studios/schools to perform a range of rep from Musical Theatre to Popular/Contemporary. It was a real treat to listen to so many fantastic voices and offer up feedback and bits of advice for how they can develop even further. Huge thanks to the organisers, Julie & Karen, for asking me and for such a brilliant day (and for the lovely card I received in the post recently). See you again soon!
Next up, as well as a welcome dose of 'normality', it's been great to return to my work in coaching FE and HE students across performing arts colleges and music degree programmes here in the North East. From leading 1:1 sessions to delivering workshops across a wide variety of genres, it's been really great to see all my usual students back, as well as meeting the latest crop of budding performers. I can't wait to see what the next year holds for everyone.
And, finally, after staging sessions on Zoom during lockdown, I'm pleased to say my 1:1 private sessions are back, busy and in full swing. Again, it's been great to see lots of my existing clients, ranging from well-known music artists to developing vocalists/singers, other singing teachers, actors and more. Furthermore, it's been great to meet a number of new ones too, including one of the North East's most recognised TV presenters (who was absolutely to work with!).
So, no matter if you're a professional voice user looking to hone your delivery, or a singer/performer prepping for an upcoming show, audition, recording session or just looking to develop your voice further/overcome a vocal challenge, get in touch and I'll be more than happy to discuss how I can help you achieve your vocal goals. Take care and hopefully see you soon, Steve
much of the understanding and terminology surrounding the singing, and speaking, voice within vocal coaching that exists today. It expects and demands the highest standards of coaching from all who qualify.
And while I draw from a wide-range of ideas, methods, research and personal musical experience through my various roles, it continues to be one of the most powerful voice toolkits and programmes out there. More importantly, through EVT, allied to my wider industry experience and research, I see real development in my clients and students every session.
9 years and counting…
After a tough near-three months in lockdown for everyone, and thanks to the forthcoming relaxation of measures introduced by the UK government, I'm really pleased to announce that I'll be restarting my person-to-person vocal sessions from Tuesday, June 16th.
While delivering 1:1 vocal sessions online has been fantastic and so much more productive for both client and myself than I could possibly have imagined, I'm really excited to be returning to more normal settings. I will, however, still be maintaining social distancing within sessions (approx 3-4 metres) while hand sanitiser will be provided for students to use upon entry. But, I can't wait to resume such sessions and I know from the number of emails and enquiries that I've had over the past couple of weeks from clients asking when normal 1:1 will restart, many students will be too.
Please note though, for those wishing to continue 1:1 sessions online via Zoom, that's absolutely fine and I will be offering that service, too. So, if you're looking to work on your voice, whether for singing or speech, or indeed to hone new/old song material, get in touch and I'll be more than happy to help on whichever platform you prefer.
See you soon and stay safe everyone.
Well, times have certainly changed since my last post in March. Within days of that blog, guidance was escalated rapidly by the government which saw the UK adopt social distancing measures. This was then quickly followed by lockdown measures that we now accept as the daily norm. A real whirlwind of a week.
And while it remains very strange times in which we live, thanks to social media and online video conferencing software, we in the creative industries have been able to explore new areas and platforms for performance, education and training.
It's been absolutely fantastic to see so many musicians, actors and performers come to the fore at this time and help to keep people entertained, engaged and their spirits high. Furthermore, having never previously had to deliver sessions or workshops online before, I've been really pleasantly surprised by just how effective 1:1 voice/singing lessons, vocal masterclasses and even large scale choir rehearsals (of up to 60 vocalists) can be, thanks to software such as Zoom.
While it can obviously never quite replicate the full experience of an actual, physical session, it can certainly get very close and, in some cases, be just as effective for all involved. Indeed, the past few weeks have seen me deliver a variety of 1:1 singing and voice sessions, as well as an entire day of sessions with members of the British Army, which was a real blast. Great guys and really talented musicians, too. Furthermore, over at Voice of the Town, we've been able to take all of our groups online and still have really fun, musically beneficial rehearsals in which we're able to hone parts and look at new material, too.
So if you're interested and able to use this time to develop your voice, whether it be for singing or public speaking, or perhaps even to work on rep or a different style to what you normally perform, get in touch to enquire about online sessions and I'll be more than happy to help.
Take care and stay safe,